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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Purification and characterization of an insect alpha-amylase inhibitor/endochitinase from seeds of Job's Tears (Coix lachryma-jobi).

A protein inhibitor of locust gut alpha-amylase was purified from seeds of Job's Tears (Coix lachryma-jobi) using ammonium sulphate precipitation, affinity chromatography on Red Sepharose and reversed-phase HPLC. It consisted of two major isomers, each a dimer of two closely similar or identical subunits of Mr about 26,400, and associated by inter-chain disulphide bonds. These isomers also had closely similar amino acid compositions. The major isomer showed no inhibitory activity against amylases from other sources: human saliva, porcine pancreas, Bacillus subtilis, Aspergillus oryzae and barley malt. The manual DABITC/PITC method was used to determine about half of the amino acid sequence of the major isoform. This showed a high degree of homology with previously reported sequences of endochitinase enzymes from several species (tobacco, potato, barley, bean), and endochitinase activity was demonstrated by following the release of radioactivity from [3H]chitin. This novel combination of functions may be relevant to protection of the grain from insect feeding and fungal infection.[1]


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